17 top Art Museums in Texas that you should visit
Now I might be biased being from Texas, but the state never ceases to amaze me and the art scene is no exception with these 17 top art museums in Texas that you should visit.
Whether you are road tripping through the state or flying into the capital Austin, there are plenty of art museums to spark your curiosity and explore cultures around the world. Dive deep into western art, I mean you are in Texas after all, or head south from some Latin American art. Your options are endless in the lone star state.
So do your eyes and soul a favor and check out this guide to 17 top art museums in Texas.
The 17 best Art Museums in Texas
McNay Art Museum – San Antonio
The McNay Art Museum is the first modern art museum in Texas. Sprawled out over 25 acres, this museum will take you on a beautiful journey through history while keeping it fun and modern.
McNay was built in the 1920s, the Spanish Colonial Revival opened its doors in 1954 with modern artists such as Van Gogh, Picasso, and Georgia O’keefe.
Today they have rotating exhibits creating a different experience each time you go. Expect to spend 1-2 hours here walking the grounds and taking in all the sculpture gardens scattered throughout the property.
Location: 6000 N New Braunfels Ave, San Antonio, TX 78209
Wednesday 10 AM–6 PM
Thursday 10 AM–9 PM
Friday 10 AM–6 PM
Saturday 10 AM–5 PM
Sunday 12–5 PM
Nasher Sculpture Center
Located in the Dallas Art District downtown, the Nasher Sculpture Center is spread out on 2.4 acres and has been welcoming guests since it opened its doors in 2003. Home to the Patsy and Raymond Nasher Collection, world-renowned collections of modern and contemporary sculptures.
The center’s mission is to “Create an international focal point and catalyst for the study, installation, conservation, and appreciation of modern and contemporary sculpture.”
The Center is a quick 2-minute walk from the Dallas Museum of Art, making this the perfect way to see multiple museums in one day!
Location 2001 Flora St, Dallas, TX 75201
Opening Hours – Wed-Sun 11 AM – 5 PM
Dallas Museum of Art
After finishing up at Nasher, head over to the Dallas Museum of Art. Dallas is home to the largest art district in the nation, so of course, it will be easy to spend all day here!
The Dallas Museum of Art is a place that engages people of all ages, backgrounds, and demographics. Joining us all together in appreciation of the arts. The museum houses many different exhibits, you can catch a lecture here, many literary events, and even a dance presentation.
The Museum has rotating exhibits, making it exciting to return time and time again. If you want to get a deeper look, join one of the museum’s nightly events such as “Pop of Arts” or a special film screening. This is a great way to meet other art enthusiasts in the area.
DMOA has free general admission, I recommend reserving your ticket online. It will make the arrival process much smoother.
Location – 1717 North Harwood Dallas, Texas 75201
Tuesday–Thursday: 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Friday: 11:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
The Meadows Museum is a lovely art museum dedicated to educating, informing, and allowing others to explore the art and cultures of Spain.
Located on the Southern Methodist University campus, the museum opened its doors in 1965. Since then they are continuously showing off collections that were accumulated over time from multiple Spain visits. You will see works of Picasso, Diego Velázquez and Bartolomé Esteban Murillo.
Along with Meadows collections, they host new exhibits on a quarterly basis that are rooted in Spanish influence such as fashion trends in Mexico and historic trends in Madrid.
Free admission into the museum on Thursdays after 5 pm.
Location 5900 Bishop Blvd. Dallas, TX 75205
Tuesday-Friday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Thursdays 10:00 a.m. 9:00 p.m.
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
The Modern Art Museum, known as “The Modern”, is the oldest art museum in Texas. This museum in Fort Worth Texas opened its doors in 1892 as a public library and art gallery for the whole state. Over the years, it has evolved through name changes and visions.
It is now a remarkable museum that highlights art from post-World War II. The permanent location for over 3,000 works of art from around the world. Explore the collections of pop art, minimalism art, as well as contemporary pieces in forms of photography, visual arts,
Location 3200 Darnell St, Fort Worth, TX 76107
Tuesday – Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Fridays open until 8:00 p.m.
Museum of Fine Arts
As the 12th largest museum in the world, the Museum of Fine Arts is a must-stop in Houston, Texas. With so much gallery space, there is a multitude of exhibits, collections, and visual programs for guests to leisurely observe.
One of their focal points is being the first venue for the U.S. tour of Afro-Atlantic Histories. In this exhibit you will see the presentation of art and documents from the transatlantic slave trade, Discover the African Diaspora from Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean, and Europe, spanning the 17th century to the 21st.
Take a walk down the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque periods through the historical art that has been loaned to MOFA from private art collectors in the Houston area.
Because of the exclusiveness of much of the art in this museum, I would consider this to be one of the best art museums in Texas and a must-visit.
Located: 1001 Bissonnet St, Houston, TX 77005
San Antonio Museum of Art
The San Antonio Museum of Art, formerly Lone Star Brewery, has been operating for 40 years. They are known for their ever-changing exhibits and their cultural art that dates back 5,000 years ago. You can find art from regional artists as well as globally.
SAMA is renowned for the most comprehensive ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian art collection in the southern United States.
This is the perfect museum to walkthrough if you want to discover art from all over the world throughout the years. In one corner you can be transferred into the Korean artwork and culture and around the next corner, you are discovering the lives of Native Americans.
It’s located by the popular Riverwalk and it’s without a doubt one of the best things to do in San Antonio.
Located: 200 W Jones Ave, San Antonio, TX 78215
Kimbell Art Museum
The stunning architecture of the Kimbell Art Museum is one of my favorites in the state. Designed by Louis I. Khan, and is widely known as one of his greatest architectural creations. The museum houses a permanent collection from Kay and Velma Kimbell, along with rotating exhibitions, educational programs, and an extensive research library.
The Museum’s art has an Asian and European focus with the intent to create thought dialogue amongst the walking from masterpiece to the masterpiece.
Admission to the permanent collection is free.
The traveling exhibition tickets can be purchased online for $18.
Location 3333 Camp Bowie Blvd, Fort Worth, TX 76107
The Museum of Western Art
Hike up your boots and head into the wild wild west at The Museum of Western Art. Ranked as the 5th best western art museum in the world, this is a great way to discover the south.
Discover how people survived the American frontier through paintings, sculptures, and drawings. To enhance your experience the museum also provides educational workshops, lectures, and special events. Check out their online resources to see their upcoming events.
Location 1550 Bandera Hwy Kerrville, TX 78028
Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Looking for something a little out of the ordinary, well look no further than the ArtCar Museum in Houston Texas. A refreshingly quirky style of art for those getting outside of the box!
Referred to as the “Garage Mahal” this privately owned collection displays imaginative, creatively constructed art cars.
Ranging from low riders, snazzy sports cars, and a few unique contraptions. ArtCar opened in 1998 and showcases local, regional, and national artists.
They do not allow walk-ins, so make sure to check availability online and purchase a ticket.
Location 140 Heights Blvd, Houston, TX 77007
Sunday – Wednesday 11:00AM- 6:00PM
Crow Collection of Asian Art
During these times of Covid, it is not so easy to get out and explore other cultures. The Crow Collection of Asian Art is the perfect way to explore and dive into the many different cultures the Asian continent has.
Explore the cultures from ancient eras to contemporary times throughout a multitude of countries such as China, Japan, India, Korea, Nepal, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, and the Philippines.
This is one of my favorite museums in the art district of Dallas, as it is equally inspiring and educational.
Admission is free.
Location 2010 Flora St, Dallas, TX 75201
Tuesday – Sunday 11:00AM – 5:00PM
🌐 Crow Collection of Asian Art
El Paso Museum of Art
The El Paso Museum of Art is the only accredited art museum servicing a 200-mile radius in West Texas. It welcomes over 100,000 visitors from West Texas, Northern Mexico, and New Mexico.
The museum was accredited in 1972 and has since been putting its efforts into maintaining and expanding its American, Mexican, and European art exhibitions.
You can feel the celebration and intermingling of these cultures as you discover over 7,000 pieces.
Admission is free
Location 1 Arts Festival Plaza, El Paso, TX 79901
Wednesday – Saturday 10:00AM – 6:00PM
The Contemporary Austin
Formally known as the Austin Museum of Art, The Contemporary Austin is one of my favorite museums in Texas. Open free to the public on Thursdays you can leisurely stroll through the museum’s exhibitions, commissions, education, and collections.
Check their schedule to see if they have a “drop in and create” night while you are in town. An instructor will be there to guide learners through an art lesson and the creation of art spaces.
Location 700 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701
Thursday- Sunday 12:00 PM- 6:00 PM
Blanton Museum of Art
Blanton museum of art is one of the largest art museums located in a university in the country. Right in the middle of the University of Texas in Austin, this museum has so much in store for students or visitors.
Austin is a very artsy city, and the primary collection of art for Austin Texas is located at the Blanton. Blanton’s permanent collection is home to over 19,000 pieces featuring art from European paintings to Greek pottery.
Make sure to check out their website for their yearly rotating schedule of exhibits. Making it almost impossible to never return.
Location The University of Texas at Austin
200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Austin, TX 78712
Wednesday – Saturday 10:00 AM- 5:00 PM
Sunday 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Amon Carter Museum of American Art
Discover American Art dated back to the 18th century throughout the Amon Carter Museum of American Art. The museum houses sculptures and paintings from Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell.
The mission is to preserve history and educate those on American art and how it plays an influence in the world today. Explore dynamic events that have taken place and cutting-edge research that will help us all better understand American Art.
Admission is free
Location 3501 Camp Bowie Blvd, Fort Worth, TX 76107
Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 AM- 5:00 PM
Sunday 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Blaffer Art Museum
The Blaffer Art Museum located at the University of Houston is a catalyst for creative innovation and experimentation. This ever-changing Museum is the only museum in Texas that does not hold a collection.
This allows for continuous change and inspiration. The art programs are free and open to the public to encourage creativity and appreciation for the visual arts.
Check out their website to see some of their upcoming events and exhibits!
Location 4173 Elgin St, Houston, TX 77004
Tuesday – Friday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday – Sunday 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Stark Museum of Art
Stark Museum of Art houses one of the most impressive collections of American western art. Focusing on the 18th and the 19th century, the exhibition space is dedicated to paintings, sculpture, prints, and rare books.
The museum will take you through the different landscapes, diverse wildlife, and the lives of those who lived in the American West.
Location 712 Green Ave, Orange, TX 77630
Wednesday – Saturday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Briscoe Western Art Museum
The Briscoe Western Art Museum is a modern museum that takes its visitors on a journey through the American West. The museum engages through visual pieces to reflect on the region and its traditions. Head to the sculpture garden surrounded by bronze sculptures depicting iconic figures of the American West.
Briscoe is open Mondays, which is very rare for museums in Texas. So make sure to head here to start a great week in the Hill Country.
Another interesting place to visit in San Antonio, tx
Location – 210 W Market St, San Antonio, TX 78205
Thursday- Monday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
🌐 The Briscoe Western Art Museum
Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston
Located in the Houston Museum District, the Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston is one of my favorite museums in Texas.
It is a non-collecting museum therefore it is always housing something new and exciting each time I go.
They host a lot of events making it the perfect place to go when you are traveling solo. Check out their website for their sound series which features an array of DJ’s bringing art not only to your eyes but your ears.
Location 5216 Montrose Blvd, Houston, TX 77006
Wednesday – Sunday 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM
🌐 Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston
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About the Author
Carae is a born and raised Texan and a lover of new places and adventure. She has been traveling around the world solo for 3 years now. She moved to West Africa in hopes of seeing the world and has not been disappointed. She has met the coolest people and believes to have seen the prettiest places and never wants it to stop. You can follow her travels at https://www.instagram.com/caraeofsunshine/